Start Spring Planting on the Right Foot


Ron Jessen, Director of Product Management and Business Development, CHS Refined Fuels

There’s a lot going through farmers’ minds when it comes to spring planting: seed choice, weather and the timetable for the season ahead, just to name a few. As every farmer knows, one small issue with a piece of equipment can quickly snowball into lost time in the field and an expensive visit to the mechanic. Ron Jessen, director of product management and business development, CHS Refined Fuels, shares how to start spring planting on the right foot by taking care of your equipment’s fuel system. 

Understand your fuel’s additive package
Today’s high-tech equipment can mean more efficient planting — but potentially more expensive repairs due to the parts and mechanics required for newer equipment. In past seasons, many farmers replaced equipment every two to four years, but those same farmers now find themselves hanging onto machinery for a few years longer. “Keeping equipment longer makes it more susceptible to long-term issues that compound,” says Jessen.

The first step to preventing long-term damage from build-up is understanding your fuel’s additive package. “An additive package is what makes the difference between fuels,” Jessen says.

A premium package like the Cenex® Ruby Fieldmaster® features crucial additives that keep dirt and debris from damaging equipment. Detergents prevent dirt from entering the fuel system and the demulsifier and corrosion inhibitor minimize damage from water, while an injection stabilizer helps the fuel to withstand the high engine temperatures and improves efficiency to cut down on the number of pit stops while planting.

Maintain your fuel tank
“Damage to equipment happens one of two ways,” Jessen says. “Immediately, like a fuel injector blockage, or slowly over time, like water running consistently through an engine filter that results in decreased efficiency.”

In either case, the best defense is a good offense. Properly cleaning and maintaining fuel tanks helps keep moisture and debris out of equipment, which in turn decreases wear and tear. “The average fuel injector orifice is roughly twice the width of a human hair, so any speck of dirt can become problematic very quickly,” Jessen says.

Proper fuel tank maintenance means managing two challenging sources: water and dirt. Dirt gets into the engine and can cause injector issues, while water can lead to corrosion and reduction in fuel efficiency. “Water accumulates in your fuel tank from condensation,” Jessen says. “On cool mornings, if you notice a frost line on the outside of the tank, know that condensation is in the inside of your tank as well.”

The best way to identify any issues is to take a fuel sample from the tank and have it tested. Contact your local fuel supplier to review the options in your area.

Paying attention to your fuel’s additive package and keeping the fuel tank clean are two important steps farmers can take to help spring planting go smoothly. “There are a lot of things farmers can’t control,” Jessen says. “Fuel tank maintenance and what fuel they use are two things that they can.”

For more insights from Ron Jessen, visit the Cenexperts® blog.

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